I ran across this article yesterday. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but I have been asked that question an inordinate amount of times in my life.
Like most people of mixed race and background, that is not a simple question to answer. I cannot simply say something like German or Mexican or South African. The answer is far more complex. Even for people of a pure ethnicity I cannot image this question is simply answered either. There is much more to what you are than the area of the world that your ancestors came from. Your identity is made up of a wide variety of experiences, preferences, recognized orientations (gender or lack of a commonly recognized one, sexual preference, religious affiliation or lack thereof, etc.), familial groupings, and so on. Although when people ask this question, it seems that they are looking for specific answers: race, gender, and/or nationality.
I could answer this question in so many ways. Human. Female. Bisexual. Atheist. American (not a particularly proud one). American Indian, French, German, and many unknowns (my mother was adopted, we suspect based on our physical traits and other facts that we may be Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and/or African). But I want to ask in return, why does it matter? If I answer with anything but human I may be judged. Apparently I already am anyway, so why would I tell you anything else besides human?
I have no issue discussing “what” I am with people I know. My story is interesting and varied and has a lot of mystery. But why does a complete stranger think they have a right to that information?
What do you think of this question? How do you answer it?
In early 2007 I moved from Arizona to Nevada without any notice or planning. My marriage had come to the breaking point and the only place that I really had to go was to my mother’s. I could have stayed with friends, but at the time I had no job or income of my own due to a layoff (the beginnings of the housing crash were the cause) and frankly I wanted to be with my mother. She had relocated to Nevada with her jobin 2003 from the city in Arizona that we had lived in since 1989. It was not an easy separation for us. My mom and I are closer than most siblings and have our relationship often compared to that of twins. The opportunities that this relocation would offer her were not something that she could turn down and although I knew it would not be easy for either of us, I encouraged her to go. She’s gone from poverty class hourly wages and living in a rented trailer to making $60,000 more a year than she was a decade ago, owning her own home, being able to save for retirement, being able to purchase a new car, and have more comforts in her life. I followed mom to Nevada because I wanted to be near her and had nowhere else I could realistically go. At the same time that meant leaving behind my friends and the few family members I associate with and a city that I truly love.
In the last four months I have run across images or information concerning three of the major men that used to be in my life. The first, *Scott was my boss back in the late nineties and early 2000s. He and I became lovers and were having an affair. He was married to a woman that he had met out of the country and had brought here so she could obtain citizenship. She also had health issues (at least so he told me and it very well may have been true) that prevented them from having a sex life. Again, according to him, she knew about me and was okay with our relationship. I fell in love with this man like I had never with anyone else. We kept our involvement a secret, although it wasn’t a well kept one. Continue reading →
This is the LINQ High Roller Ferris/Observation Wheel in Las Vegas before it was lit. It is the largest in the world. These were for a photo contest that I ended up having to drop out of because of my mother’s surgery (not that I regret that). I might as well share them somewhere.
Graham built me a new computer. I didn’t ask for one, he just decided to build it last week. We had discussed building me one after we discovered the laptop he got me a couple of years ago couldn’t handle the video game I like, but it wasn’t an urgent thing. He came home one day last week and decided it was time to order the parts. This baby is awesome. I put my hand above the at least three inch wide fan on the top and cool air is what is coming out. Cooler than the room’s temperature.
And then today he emails me this: “So apparently the motherboard, video card, processor, hard drive, and monitor I bought you have all been nominated for Newegg’s Customer Choice Award. Can I pick em or what?”
Hell yeah! Anyone that ever questions why I love nerds and geeks, see above. It helps that I am one, too. Look out Minecraft and Bryce3D and Photoshop, here I come to do some heavy-duty processor intensive work.
I’ve described here in my first, second, and third entires that I have an intense interest in learning about suicide. Let me be crystal clear; I have no intentions whatsoever of killing myself. My interest stems from personal tragedy. If you haven’t read the earlier posts, my grandfather shot and killed himself in October of 2010 and then a neighbor did the same a couple of years later. Because of these events, and the awful things I saw as a result, I spend a fair amount of time reading about suicides, the psychology of being suicidal, the people that are most likely to harm themselves, etc. I believe that instead of questioning the whys of my grandfather’s suicide, which I feel I do understand, that I question the whys of suicide in general.
In my reading last night I ran across something that made my heart stop. Continue reading →
When I say I came from messed up origins, I mean that. Before I go any further I will say this; I know I could be far worse off and have many more problems than I do. I am in no way saying I have it worse than anyone else. We all have our own problems and they affect each of us differently. You will see as I tell this story just how far from normal my early years were though. I thank my mom and my mom alone for the way I turned out.
I was born on a Wednesday afternoon a few months before the seventies came to a close. My mother was 19 at the time, my father 21. Their union was not a happy one nor one born out of love. My mother had been given little choice by her adoptive mother, go with your boyfriend or become homeless because I’m kicking you out. Not much of a choice at that age. So they got married and I was the result. I blame neither of them for this, it simply was.
Although my mother was miserable she remained with my father for my sake. By the time I turned four she simply could not take it anymore and announced her intention to divorce my dad. I know she had a lover and that lover’s ex-wife (or ex-girlfriend) happened to be my babysitter in our tiny rural town. I remember very little of this time except for one event that stands out in my mind. My mother and I were in the trailer we lived in, my father was outside mowing the lawn. I was standing in front of the glass screened door watching him when he hit a rock with the mower. The rock hit this door and shattered the glass. It was loud and very scary. I wasn’t harmed, but this is what I remember from this time.
From this point what I’m writing will be a blend of memory and fact. I was too little to remember all this on my own, and I’ve done a damn good job of erasing a lot of it, but I’ll try to distinguish what is memory from what I learned.
When my father’s mother (Mim in these entries After Suicide – Part 1 of 2 and After Suicide – Part 2 of 2) found out that my mom was divorcing my dad, she decided that my mother should be punished. First she decided that because my mother carried around a spare pair of underwear for me that that meant she was molesting me and began spreading this around our small Georgia town. I don’t remember anyone talking to me about my mom supposedly molesting me. When that accusation wouldn’t stick and she found out who my mother’s lover was and thereby who my babysitter was, she decided the babysitter was molesting me. This accusation held more water for people, and so she spread that around instead.Continue reading →